OpenStreetMap Marikina Mapping Party Post-Report

2:57 pm PHT

Do you know why I think that last weekend’s Marikina Mapping Party is successful? Well for one thing, we managed to attract newbie mappers into the project. Second, we made Marikina’s OSM map even more awesome than it was before. And there’s also the fact that this Mapping Party is undeniably better organized and more polished than the two previous Manila-based OpenStreetMap Mapping Parties (Tagaytay and Cubao). But what really set this event apart from all the previous ones is The Cake.  :-)

 A cake with a map of Marikina printed on the icing

The OpenStreetMap project has a running meme of cake slicing in its Mapping Parties. That is, dividing the area to be surveyed and mapped into smaller “digestible” pieces and assigning them to the mappers. Cake slicing is such a big deal that there have been real cakes with maps on them in OSM socials worldwide. Such cakes are also a concrete proof that OpenStreetMap passes the cake test—the test of whether a map is free and open. Essentially, the cake test says that if you can buy a cake with a map printed on it (using edible ink of course) and then give that cake away as a gift, then the map passes the cake test! For example, while Google Maps is freely available, the map isn’t free and open since making cakes with Google Maps on them violates Google Maps’ Terms of Service:

… you must not… b) copy, translate, modify, or make derivative works of the Content or any part thereof; c) redistribute, sublicense, rent, publish, sell, assign, lease, market, transfer, or otherwise make the Products or Content available to third parties, …

Anyway, I had a blast during the Mapping Party. We all met for breakfast at Jollibee Blue Wave Mall and it was there that we divyied up the proverbial Marikina cake. (Note: preparing the paper maps should be done way ahead of time.) I took slice #7, which is A. Bonifacio Avenue and Sumulong Highway. My task is essentially to collect points of interest (POIs) and to also verify the existing map data along that route. I decided to tackle my slice in two steps divided by the Marikina River: sub-slice #1 is A. Bonifacio Avenue from the Marcos Highway flyover to the bridge over the river, and sub-slice #2 is Sumulong Highway from J.P. Rizal to Gil Fernando Avenue.

Knowing that I really cannot survey this route while driving and stopping every now and then, I decided to just park somewhere and then walk the road. For sub-slice one, I parked inside the Riverbanks Center (incidentally being able to survey that retail area even though it’s technically not part of my slice) and went on foot. Despite it being sunny and hot, Bonifacio was surprisingly bearable and actually quite walkable. For the second sub-slice, I parked at the McDo near the Sports Center and had a quick lunch there. This sub-slice went easier since it’s much shorter and had plenty of shade. I guess I was able to walk a total of about 3 kilometers for the whole slice.

After the surveying, I headed over to the rendezvous point at the foodcourt of SM City Marikina. We eventually ended up staying at Figaro Coffee and that was where Maning surprised us with the Marikina cake! Despite the quite intermittent free Wi-Fi provided by SM, we were able to demonstrate to the newbies how to edit and input the collected data using the JOSM and Merkaartor editors. Stories were also shared and plans fo future events were discussed. All in all, it was a very successful Mapping Party, all thanks to the cake!  :-D

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